A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with women

Q: “Does a woman raise her voice when saying ‘aameen’ during prayer, and does she also give the adhaan and iqaamah?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

If she is praying with women, then yes she raises her voice when saying ‘aameen,’ but if she is praying with men who are not her mahram, then no. I do not say that a woman’s voice is `awrah, as many say, since the Mothers of the believers and the wives of the Companions, the foremost, used to speak and communicate with men; and oftentimes a woman would come to the Prophet ﷺ and ask him something in front of the men, and he ﷺ would answer her question. However, it is not proper for a woman to raise her voice when reciting the Qur’aan. We are often asked if it is permissible for a woman – when she is learning the recitation from a Shaikh, a Muqri – to repeat the recitation to him so he may correct her: the answer is no. Although she learns, her learning is restricted to listening only, like the women of all the Companions learned from the Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ by listening to his recitation during prayer or outside of prayer.

If a woman prays with women as the imaam, she raises her voice and the women behind her also raise their voices, because of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men’[1] i.e. every ruling in which men are being addressed, women are also included except for that which is made an exception. For example, it is best for a woman, in other than the taraaweeh prayer, to pray in her house, whereas it is obligatory upon a man to pray the five prayers in the mosque with the congregation. So here, the woman is not like the man. But the fundamental principle is as he ﷺ said: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’

So if a woman leads women in prayer as an imaam, she does just as a man would do as an imaam. Firstly: she raises her voice when reciting and when saying ‘aameen,’ and the women behind her also raise their voices when saying ‘aameen.’ Secondly: not only does she lead women in prayer as an imaam, she even gives the adhaan and iqaamah. Why? Because of the previous narration: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’ Moreover, `Aa’ishah – the Mother of the believers and the foremost of the Mothers of the believers in fiqh, knowledge and da`wah, may Allaah bless her and her father – used to give the adhaan and iqaamah when she led women in prayer as an imaam.

Now I would like to draw your attention to something that wasn’t asked about: the woman here is also different from the man in that she does not step up before the women’s row, but rather she stands in the middle as if she is one of those in the row. She does not step up before them. There is legislative text regarding this also, and thus a woman in this case is not included in the general meaning of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’”


[1] As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 2863

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor  697/3 / alalbaany.com]

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A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with women